Zalm optimistic over economic growth
15 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm is a lot more optimistic about the Dutch economy than the forecasts of the Central Planning Bureau (CPB), claiming the figures are somewhat pessimistic.
15 March 2005
AMSTERDAM — Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm is a lot more optimistic about the Dutch economy than the forecasts of the Central Planning Bureau (CPB), claiming the figures are somewhat pessimistic.
The CPB has forecast economic growth of 1 percent this year and 2.25 percent in 2006. Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) figures revealed that growth in 2004 hit 1.3 percent. The growth comes after a nine-month recession in 2002-03.
But speaking at a party meeting in the Zeeland town of Goes, Zalm said on Monday that the Cabinet was receiving signals that the economy was improving after a difficult period, news service NOS reported.
He said the CPB forecasts were on the gloomy side, but claimed that the rising number of job vacancies, increased investment and the profitability of companies as a reason for optimism.
"I am totally not gloomy," he said, warning also that the higher-than-expected earnings from a growing economy cannot be immediately added to government expenditure.
The Cabinet will start discussing in coming weeks the 2006 Budget, which will be presented in September. The budget will be partly based on economic expectations.
Previous budgets have seen massive cost cutting in a bid to cut the budget deficit and restore government finances. Savings are particularly being made in social security, healthcare and via wage moderation.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news